via ‘Sue Mnangagwa over Electoral Amendment Bill’ June 6, 2014 by Blessed Mhlanga in NewsDay
PROMINENT Gweru lawyer Brian Dube has urged the public to file a class action lawsuit against Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Parliament for passing the Electoral Amendment Bill without in cooperating public views recently gathered by the Jessie Majome-led parliamentary committee.
Addressing journalists attending a workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) in Gweru yesterday, Dube said Mnangagwa and Parliament breached the founding values and principles of the national Constitution.
He cited Section 3 of the Constitution subsection 2 which reads: “The principles of good governance, which bind the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level, include — (subsection G) transparency, justice, accountability and responsiveness.”
Dube alleges that in this instance Mnangagwa and the House of Assembly failed to be responsive to the issues raised by the people to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs during its public hearings.
“Parliament complied with section 149 of the Constitution by conducting public hearings but they failed to comply with section 3(2)g when the Bill was passed without as much any debate on the issues raised during the hearings,” he said.
He said Parliament and the minister should be compelled to show that they at least considered the issues raised and found that they did not warrant inclusion into the Bill.
“Both the minister and Parliament should be taken to the Constitutional Court for breaching the Constitution,” he said.
ZESN also also raised similar concerns.
In a statement, Zesn said:“None of the written and oral submissions that ZESN and other civil society organisations made were considered. ZESN is dissatisfied the passing of the Electoral Amendment Bill in Parliament without including the submissions from various stakeholders, as this goes against the spirit of democratic policy making processes as provided for in Section 141 (a) and (b) of the constitution of Zimbabwe. Parliament in its legislative mandate needs to respect and promote the letter and spirit of the new Constitution.”